Too much emphasis on the number of accounts?

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by georgialawn88, Sep 11, 2013.

  1. whiffyspark

    whiffyspark LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,091

    I worked for a company that had less than 50 accounts. We had over 50 employees. Owner lived in a $4 million dollar house with several vacation houses. We had over 100k for payroll over week.

    Number of accounts does not matter. If your a business man you're not a landscaper.
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  2. GMLC

    GMLC LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,353

    We did something a little different this year. I dropped the rest of my bi weekly accounts, made our service radius smaller, got rid of slow payers, and dropped accounts that were not as profitable. I am much more picky on what kind of property we take on now. This was easy as we all ready had a full schedule and turned away work. I have almost replaced all of the accounts I dropped with ones that fit my new criteria. So technically I have a few less accounts but am more profitable, have less stress, and enjoy my work much more. This has slowed my growth but I look foward to a better future.
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  3. snomaha

    snomaha LawnSite Senior Member
    from midwest
    Posts: 859

    You win the grand prize - :).

    The guy with the 3 million dollar company is probably paying himself a wage of 100k or more in addition to the $450k net.
     
  4. ztman

    ztman LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,007

    Wow, must be big accounts. The accounts would have to pay $8,000 per month just for the company to make pay roll
     
  5. whiffyspark

    whiffyspark LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,091

    Some were. Some we could do 3 in an 8 hour day. Mon -Fri 7-4

    One account paid 45k a month. Another paid over 100k

    The 45 took us one day to cut with 3 crews. 100 had 2 or 3 dedicated crews year round.

    We also got another site when I left that was 175k a year maintenance with one dedicated crew.
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  6. Joe Shooner

    Joe Shooner LawnSite Member
    Posts: 157

    One thought to interject: assuming you have a relatively equal revenue/client over your client base, losing 1 account out of 3,000 is a lot easier to swallow than losing 1 account out of 12.

    Higher client counts does not always equal greater profit, but in most cases it does insulate you from dramatic swings in revenue based on losing or gaining clients. That makes it easier to forecast and plan for the future, which in turn helps you manage almost everything better, and helps you sleep at night.

    I say this as a guy who lost a client supplying 17% of revenue a few years back. I'd much rather have 100-200 clients each supplying .5%-1% of revenue than 5 clients each supplying 20%.
     
  7. Utah Lawn Care

    Utah Lawn Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,306

    In the 90's my Dad and us kids would mow 50 old ladies lawns after school as a part time job. We would literally mow and that's it. For whatever reason my dad didn't charge crap so the average lawn was probably 8-10 bucks each. He was probably billing out about $1800 worth of work/month.

    I started my business in the spring this year and have 20 clients. I mow, edge, weedeat, blow, spray weeds, spray dandelions, fertilize, aerate etc. I offer more services, and charge at 60/man hour. As a result I bill out around $3300/month.

    Offering more services, and not being a low baller means more money per customer.
     

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